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Russia weighs plans for Kyrgyz air base

Dec. 18, 2013 at 10:48 AM   |   Comments

MOSCOW, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Russian government said it proposed transferring control over the Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan to Russian investment company Novaport.

The Russian government proposed placing Manas under the financial management of airport investment firm Novaport. The investment company is half owned by Roman Trotsenko, an adviser to oil company Rosneft, and is considering a $300 million investment in Manas, Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

Last year, Russia and Kyrgyzstan signed a 15-year lease for Russian military bases in the country. Kyrgyzstan gets relief from the $500 million in debt to the Russian government in exchange.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev said Monday a Russian military aid package should help with national efforts to reorganize its military by 2017.

The Kyrgyz government in November told the U.S. military its access to the Manas Air Base would be suspended next year. The facility has been used as a transit hub to get international troops and equipment into Afghanistan.

International combat operations in Afghanistan are expected to end next year as Afghan forces take on more security responsibilities.

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